Overall Score: 8/10 production: 9/10 Songs: 8/10 Originality: 7/10 Pros: A Career best from a band who remains incredibly consistent Cons: Some elements dont go far enough at times
It seems mental to think that in the grand scheme of things Carnifex are now considered veterans of the Death Metal scene. 18 years into doing this and yet people still act like they only popped up recently. When you listen to their latest album Necromanteum, you can here that vintage running throughout.
Somewhat erroneously pigeonholed into the burgeoning Deathcore scene, Carnifex has always been a band that felt like they had their feet placed firmly in both the Death Metal & Black Metal scenes rather than anything with a core at the end of it.
Don’t get me wrong they thrown their fare share of Blegh’s and Breakdowns around, but its always felt like it was in service to a particular moment or song rather than to chase a trend or sound. Necromanteum doubles down on both the Death & Black metal elements this time around to create an album that sounds like Morbid Angel knife fighting Dimmu Borgir in a graveyard in a dispute over Corpse Paint & Pigs Blood.
This could very well end up being the definitive Carnifex record. Its certainly the most savage, but also the most grandiose. Torn in Two & Death’s Forgotten Children give you the old one – two right out the gate, ensuring you are definitely paying attention. Crowned in Everblack lays a punishing assault on the listener that will batter your brain to dust.
How the Knife Gets Twisted has a really strong melody, bolstered by incredible guitar work and backed up by a parallel keyboard run, creating a brutal, atmospheric track that will have you banging your head and humming along all at once. Bleed No More is a straight ahead Old School Death Metal banger punctuated by Horror movie synth stabs, and Scott Lewis sounding like he’s gargling demons throughout. Choral moments are underpinned by one of his most throat ripping and disturbing sounding vocals in the song’s second half. It’s a genuine highlight in an album full of them.
Necromanteum may be able to lay claim to being Carnifex’s magnum opus. An album that takes everything the band has done up to this point and perfects it. The production helps the album to pop, especially in the moments where the keyboard parts come in. Everything feels heavier and more epic in scope than on previous albums. This album feels soul crushingly heavy, but it retains a classic sound that also feels more accessible than some of their previous offerings. It’s easy to forget, in this day and age where people are hyping up newer, younger bands for doing things that people are just now considering innovative that bands like Carnifex were out there creating it and perfecting it long before these other bands even existed.
In a completely stacked year for Death Metal releases Carnifex have come out swinging, with a career best album that shows they still have a lot of life left in them yet, and they are still prepared to throwdown with the best of them.
Necromanteum is out now via Nuclear Blast